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With Book on New Computer Language, Kernighan Guides Students at Princeton and Beyond

Princeton University computer science professor Brian Kernighan.

Princeton University computer science professor Brian Kernighan as co-authored a new book on the computer language Go.

Credit: David Kelly Crow/ Princeton University Office of Engineering Communications

Princeton University professor Brian Kernighan has co-authored a book on the computer language Go with Alan Donovan, a member of the Go design team.

Thirty years ago, Kernighan wrote an influential book on the C programming language.

Kernighan spent many years at Bell Labs, working in the same group that developed the Unix operating system and alongside Dennis Ritchie, who created the C programming language. A team of Google employees began working on the Go language as a side project, interested in an alternative to the C++ language that would be less complex and more efficient in handling certain tasks.

The open source program is designed to address the demands of concurrent processing, which is critical because it is no longer feasible in many areas of science and engineering to force more speed from a single chip.

"There are ways that the language provides for shared memory and multiprocessing," says Princeton professor Nick Feamster.

Kernighan says the goal of the book, "The Go Programming Language," is to introduce the language and help programmers take advantage of its strengths.

From Princeton University
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